Alta is a ski area in the western United States, located in the town of Alta in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, in Salt Lake County. With a skiable area of 2,200 acres (8.9 km2), Alta's base elevation is 8,530 ft (2,600 m) and rises to 10,550 ft (3,216 m) for a vertical gain of 2,020 ft (616 m).
One of the oldest ski resorts in the country, it opened its first lift in early 1939. Alta is known for being very high altitude and receives more snow than most Utah resorts, its average annual snowfall is 514 inches (13.1 m). Alta is one of three remaining ski resorts in the U.S. that prohibits snowboarders, along with nearby competitor Deer Valley and Vermont's Mad River Glen.
Deer Valley is an alpine ski resort in the Wasatch Range, located 36 miles (58 km) east of Salt Lake City, in Park City, Utah, United States. The resort, known for its upscale amenities, is consistently ranked among the top ski resorts in North America.
Deer Valley was a venue site during 2002 Winter Olympics, hosting the freestyle moguls, aerial, and alpine slalom events. It also regularly hosts competitions for the International Ski Federation.
Alpine skiing, or downhill skiing, is the sport or recreation of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed-heel bindings. It is characterized by the requirement for mechanical assistance getting to the top of the hill, since the equipment does not allow efficient walking or hiking, unlike cross-country skis which use free-heel bindings.
It is typically practiced at ski resorts which provide services such as ski lifts, artificial snow making and grooming, first aid, and restaurants.
Back-country skiers use alpine skiing equipment to ski off the marked pistes, in some cases with the assistance of snowmobiles, helicopters or snow cats. Alpine skiing has been an event at the Winter Olympic Games since 1936 (except for the 1940 games).